Rochester, New York's own Tim Redding makes his Yankee debut tonight, taking the hill against ex-Yank David Wells. Here's what I wrote about the 27-year-old righty when the Yankees picked him up in the Paul Quantrill trade that is suddenly the source of half of their active rotation:
Redding has been absolutely terrible this year (9.10 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, .328 BAA) and was on the Padres 15-day DL with shoulder problems at the time of the trade. At the same time, those shoulder problems could explain away the terrible line. Here are some interesting snippets from his ESPN.com scouting report:
During an impressive rise through the minors, he was expected to one day be one of the [Astros'] best pitchers, with a two- and four-seam fastball, hard-breaking curve and slider. . . . Astros officials still believe he has great stuff and can be a strong No. 4 or 5 pitcher.
Redding turned in a solid season for Houston in 2003, posting a 3.68 ERA and 5.94 K/9 in 32 starts at age 25, and he holds a minor league career K/9 of 10.80. The problem is his control of both his pitches (career 3.71 BB/9 in the majors, 4.45 BB/9 in the minors) and his emotions (think Jeff Weaver). Still, at age 27, having now passed through two organizations in a matter of months after spending his entire career in the Astros system, there is hope that Redding can put it all together. Certainly the Yankees haven't risked anything to find out if he can.
Redding actually had one strong outing for the Padres this year. Starting against the Rockies in Petco Park (not exactly the Red Sox in Fenway) back on May 3, Redding posted this line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K, 71 percent of 95 pitches for strikes. In his final outing as a Padre (just his second since being activated from the DL), Redding came on in relief against the Dodgers in LA and pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings allowing just one baserunner via a walk and striking out two. So there's some lightning in this bottle, though the fact that I felt that his relief appearance in LA was worth mentioning should tell you something about how likely it is we'll see a flash tonight.